The Monastery of Panagia Kastriani on Kea (Tzia or Gia)
The Monastery of Panagia Kastriani (Virgin Mary) who is the matron of the Island of Kea was founded around 1700 AD in the area named Kastri (the Castle). According to the tradition, some shepherds suddenly saw a glow one day up on the steep rock where the Monastery is built nowadays. The shepherds approached it and started digging where upon they found the sacred icon of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. A lot of effort had been made to build a Church not where the sacred icon was found but a little further, which had no result as each morning when they saw the foundations of what they had built – as by a miracle - had been demolished and their tools were placed at the spot where the sacred icon was found.
So they considered that the Virgin Mary herself chose that location and they built there a Church that still exists today (the lower level of the Church), while in 1912 the magnificent Church (the upper level of the Church) was built that we can see today and features the Monastery. The whole complex was completed in the course of construction by gifts and offerings of the faithful people and new buildings have been added, such as the rooms for guests, the dining room and the kirostasio.
The Monastery of Panagia Kastriani is situated in a really impressive landscape of Kea through a route that is breathtaking in its beauty. Around the area of Kastri (the Castle) there are cliffs, sea caves and beaches which can only be discovered by boat. Panagia Kastriani (Virgin Mary) is celebrated on 15th of August while there are other ceremonies throughout the year.
The holy shrine of Panagia Kastriani on Kea, in the wintertime is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm, while from Easter to September is always open to access. You can contact them by phone just to be sure before a visit on +30 22880-24348, +30 22880-24324 because the distance to the Monastery is quite sufficient, either from Ioulida (Chora of Kea) or from Korissia (the Port of Kea).
KEA ISLAND PANAGIA KASTRIANI